Haunted Charleston: The Old City Jail Building

charleston's old city jail at 21 magazine st.

Built in 1802, the Old City Jail housed some of Charleston County’s most infamous criminals, including 19th-century pirates, errant slaves, and Lavinia Fisher, America’s first female serial killer. Thousands of inmates died within the structure’s imposing walls and it’s these tormented spirits that reportedly haunt the 210-year-old building today.

Now owned by Charleston’s School of the Building Arts (SoBA), the jail is generally off-limits to the public, though tourists can take the Haunted Jail Tour offered by Bulldog Tours. Spooked visitors describe objects that disappear, an alarm that goes off for no apparent reason, cell phone batteries that mysteriously die and recharge, heavy doors that open and close on their own, and the sound of heavy breathing in empty cells, among other eerie events. Visitors have also seen a black specter wandering about the halls. A former warden, perhaps?

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Charleston Ghost Pictures

War, fire, earthquake, a notorious serial killer – there are few disasters the city of Charleston hasn’t seen in its 332-year history. Is it any wonder that ghosts and ghouls are said to roam the city’s historic streets? Here are a few unsettling ghost photos from Charleston, South Carolina.

Sue Howard Hardy Ghost Photos

An amateur photographer snapped this photo at St. Philip’s Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. Legend has it that the photo was taken exactly 99 years after the ghost in the picture, Sue Howard Hardy, gave birth to a stillborn baby. Mrs. Hardy died six days after the birth of the child.

charleston ghost photo sue howard hardy

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This photo, taken at Sue Howard Hardy’s grave, depicts an odd rainbow light.

weird light on sue howard hardy's headstone

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